Byron Bitz is a bad NHL hockey player. He had 4 points (1 goal) in 10 games this season, and is a career minus in the +/- column, but was in the game for the Canucks tonight in game one vs. the LA Kings. Why?
His hit on Kyle Clifford in the 2nd period was disgusting. The NHL needs to figure out a way to rid itself of that garbage. From behind, to the head...ugh... I wish someone would Adam-Sandler-in-the-Waterboy-style "hit" him (1:37 mark), although that's my own violent temper getting in the way of better judgement.
I digress. Mainly, I want to call into question why such a player is in the game. Bitz was a very good, but not great, player at Cornwall. He has never averaged even half a point per game in the minors, and is typically a healthy scratch in the NHL. He's a "role player." I get it. He has a role to play, and that role doesn't involve any puck-skills whatsoever. What he did tonight was provide zero offense for Vancouver, fail to clear his own zone, and then take a stupid (gutless) penalty that put his team down a man for 5 full minutes. He'll probably be suspended, too.
Am I the crazy one? I guess because Daniel Sedin and his world-class talent aren't playing (thanks to a concussion on a gutless hit by Duncan Keith, surprise, surprise), Vancouver has to dress someone, but why a guy who has no chance to contribute other than to play recklessly and put himself into position to take dumb penalties?
Anyway, I hope Clifford can return (he looked like a mess trying to get off the ice), and at least in the short-term Bitz can sleep tonight knowing he cost his team a goal and temporarily sucked the energy out of the crowd (the exact opposite thing he's "supposed" to do).
Hopefully he'll slip in the shower and knock himself out. And hopefully Daniel Sedin returns so that I can watch good hockey instead of morons who might as well leave their sticks on the bench. Henrik Sedin probably wishes Bitz and company would tone it down a little so that he can get some ice time (and points for my playoff pool) instead of watching his team kill penalties.
If Byron does see more game action, he can probably expect someone on Vancouver looking to smash his face to bitz......